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FCC turns down volume on loud TV ads

WASHINGTON — US telecom regulators ordered television stations on Tuesday to turn down the volume on commercials. “The rules adopted today require that commercials have the same average volume as the programs they accompany,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in a statement. The FCC said the move was a…

Long-term jobless set to lose safety net

WASHINGTON — Instead of brimming with holiday cheer, millions of the long-term unemployed across the United States are anxiously watching to see if the new year brings an end to their jobless benefits. The US government’s long-term unemployment insurance benefits expire at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve…

Arsenic in water near coal-fired U.S. plants: monitor

WASHINGTON — An environmental monitor Tuesday identified 19 new sites across the United States where groundwater near coal-ash dumps from power plants was found to be contaminated with arsenic and other pollutants. The Environmental Integrity Project said the pollution — in some cases more than 10 times the maximum contaminant…

Crash chopper with Indian newlyweds ‘was off course’

LOS ANGELES — A helicopter carrying four tourists including a young Indian newlywed couple crashed in a ravine near Las Vegas after veering off course, an initial investigation said Tuesday. The pilot and all passengers died last Wednesday when the chopper they were taking to see the Hoover Dam, a…

ACLU sues Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker over new voter ID law

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty filed a federal lawsuit against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday, alleging that the state’s new voter ID law is unconstitutional. The law, which was passed by the Republican-led state legislature in…

Sandusky lawyer tells reporters to call gay phone-sex line

Jerry Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola didn’t do his client any favors Tuesday when he quipped that reporters should call “1-800-REALITY” if they believed his client raped boys. Unfortunately, that number turned out to be a gay phone-sex service. Soon after a hearing where Sandusky, a former assistant Penn State football…

Santorum: ‘Court has gotten it wrong’ that pornography is free speech

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Tuesday that he was a “big believer” in free speech, but the “court has gotten it wrong” on pornography. At a town hall-style campaign event in Belle Plaine, Iowa, a woman asked the Pennsylvania Republican what he would do about the Occupy Wall Street…

Trump pulls out of Newsmax GOP debate

After seeing GOP presidential candidate after candidate decline to attend, Donald Trump withdrew himself from moderating the December 27th Newsmax debate, according to published reports on Fox News and CNN Tuesday afternoon. Only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had indicated they would be at the debate engineered by The Apprentice…

Fourteen Dem Senators ask HHS for an explanation on Plan B

Fourteen Democratic Senators are asking Health and Human Services secretary Katheleen Sebelius why she overturned the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to allow emergency contraception to be sold over the counter. According to The Washington Post‘s The Plum Blog, female Senators Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, Kirsten Gillilbrand, Maria Cantwell and…

Report: Boehner influenced Ohio gerrymandering on behalf of GOP donor

A top aide for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) directly interfered in the Ohio redistricting process to the benefit of a corporation that is headed by major Republican donors, according to a recently released report by an Ohio public advocacy group. Emails obtained by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable…

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